Spinal Cord Injury
A Spinal Cord Injury is an injury to the spinal cord resulting in a change, either temporary or permanent, in the cord's normal motor, sensory, and/or autonomic function. Common causes of damage are trauma (car accident, gunshot, falls, sports injuries, etc.) or disease (transverse myelitis, polio, spina bifida, Friedreich's ataxia, etc.). The spinal cord does not have to be severed in order for a loss of function to occur. Depending on where the spinal cord and nerve roots are damaged, the symptoms can vary widely, from pain to paralysis to incontinence. Spinal cord injuries are described at various levels of "incomplete", which can vary from having no effect on the patient to a "complete" injury which means a total loss of function.
Treatment of Spinal Cord Injuries starts with stabilising the spine and controlling inflammation to prevent further damage. The actual treatment can vary widely depending on the location and extent of the injury. In many cases, Spinal Cord Injuries require extensive physiotherapy and rehabilitation, especially if the patient's injury interferes with activities of daily life.